Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson

By Benjamin Rand | Go to book overview

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER (1788-1860)

THE WORLD AS WILL AND IDEA

Translated from the German* by R. B. and J. KEMP HALDANE


BOOK I. THE WORLD AS IDEA

§ 1. "THE world is my idea:" -- this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as idea, i. e., only in relation to something else, the consciousness, which is himself. If any truth can be asserted a priori, it is this: for it is the expression of the most general form of all possible and thinkable experience: a form which is more general than time, or space, or causality, for they all presuppose it; and each of these, which we have seen to be just so many modes of the principle of sufficient reason, is valid only for a particular class of ideas; whereas the antithesis of object and subject is the common form of all these classes, is that form under which alone any idea of whatever kind it may be, abstract or intuitive, pure or empirical, is possible and thinkable. No truth therefore is more certain, more independent of all others, and less in need of proof than this, that all that exists for knowledge, and therefore this whole world, is only object in relation to subject, perception of a perceiver, in a word, idea. This is obviously true of the past and the future, as well as of the present, of what is farthest off, as of what is near; for it is true of time and space

____________________
*
From Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, Leipzig, 1819; 3. Aufl. 1859. Reprinted here from A. Schopenhauer The World as Will and Idea, translated by R. B. Haldane and J. Kemp, London, Trübner & Co., 1883, vol. i.

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Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) 1
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 24
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 57
  • RenÉ Descartes (1596-1650) 101
  • Baruch De Spinoza (1632-1677) 148
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibnitz (1646-1716) 199
  • John Locke (1632-1704) 215
  • George Berkeley (1685-1753) 263
  • David Hume (1711-1766) 307
  • Etienne Bonnot De Condillac (1715-1780) 347
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) 376
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) 486
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Von Schelling. (1775-1854) 535
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) 569
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) 629
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857) 672
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 690
  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) 703
  • Index 733
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